Friday, 20 December 2013


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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Athropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicide
Sub Family: Myrmicinae
Genus: Solenopsis

1. Ants live in a tight social class
A single colony can consist of millions of ants. each ant has a defined role. The nest is made up of a queen, males and female ants. The queen is the only ant that can lay eggs.  The role of the male ants is to breed with the queen, and they often die after this event.  Female ants never breed and are the worker ants  The colony is protected by solider ants that gather food, defend the colony and protect the queen from enemies. 
The queen and male ants have wings, although the queens lose these wings when they start a new nest.

2. Ants are strong
An ant can lift up to 20 times its own body weight, equivalent to a human lifting a car.

3. Ants practice slavery
When ants invade an enemies nest they often take away the eggs and larvae.  The individuals are then wither eaten of forces to become slaves in the colony.  These slaves are responsible for carrying out many tasks in the colony.

4. There are alot of them!
Ants are closely related to bees. There are over 10,000 species of ant.  In some tropical regions ants account for over 25% of the total animal biomass.  This means that there are in excess of 10,000,000,000,000,000 ants on our planet right now.  They have colonised almost the entire globe, with the exception of Antarctica, the Arctic, and a handful of islands

5. Some ants are big
The African driver ant, Dorylus wilverthi, exceeds 5 cm in length.  However, most ants are generally less than one mm in length.

6.  They hear with their feet
Ants don't have ears.  They detect vibration on the ground with their feet.

7. They don't get lost
When foraging ants navigate by leaving a pheromone trail which they follow back to the nest again.

8.  Ants love housekeeping
Ant nests may be located underground, in ground-level mounds, or in trees. The worker ants move the eggs and larvae at night deeper into the nest to protect them from the cold. They are moved back to the top of the nest during the day so that they can be warmer

8. The Queen is King
Ant colony's are headed by a queen or queens.  When the queen dies the colony is condemned to death as worker ants cannot reproduce and the queen ant is rarely replaced.  A colony may last only a few months after the death of the queen.

9.  Ants are ancient
Ants have existed since the dinosaurs 110 million years ago.  They survived the KT extinction 65 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs.

10. Ants farm crops
Leaf Cutter Ants cut out pieces of leaves to take back to their nests. Ants do not eat the leaves as they cannot digest cellulose.  Instead they chew and store the leaves in order to cultivate a special fungus that grows on them. They eat this fungus instead.

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